Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health announced last week that I will be their exclusive health care partner! So, what exactly does that exciting news mean? And will the Fountain Avenue Kitchen as we know it fundamentally change? Below, I answer those question and more. (Happily, the short answer on the second question is no.) As always, your feedback in terms of desired content is important, and I invite you to weigh in!
Last week, the health system announced that I will be their exclusive health care partner. This means that I will be bringing favorite recipes and tips to their community as a featured contributor.
Interestingly enough, this endeavor has roots in a conversation that took place over a year ago about “food as medicine” and the value in approaching health from a wellness, not a sickness, perspective.
Though our backgrounds (and certainly our day jobs!) are very different, we shared a mutual connection in this regard.
As I listened and learned about the hospitals many health and wellness initiatives, they listened to the things that mattered to me, like the “everything in moderation” concept, giving my readers choices, and how simple recipes have the power to get a family around the dinner table at the end of a long day.
Food is linked to so many health initiatives. People who suffer from hypertension or high cholesterol may readily come to mind. But there are also questions that arise during pregnancy, when navigating what to feed a picky toddler, and how the diet culture affects body image.
And speaking of the diet culture, is there merit to the keto/Whole 30/paleo/Mediterranean/vegan/intermittent fasting, etc., etc. diet? Or should I count carbs, calories, fat, and protein?
So often we hear that something we thought was good for us really isn’t, or vice-versa. Is soy good or bad? What about gluten? Red meat? Eggs? The list goes on and on.
Plus, if you’re anything like me, you’re curious as to what the dietitians eat. Maybe the doctors, too?
There are countless subjects we could potentially explore, and as always, good recipes will be the foundation. Of course, I absolutely welcome input from my readers. What are your questions and concerns? What would you like to see more of?
For starters, I will be sharing several recipes each month that will live on the Health Hub. Some will be new, some will be old favorites, and most will include a video and helpful hints. One of the Penn Medicine’s registered dietitians will supply relevant health tips along with the nutritional stats for those who need them.
Our initial plan included regular in-person events, although those are on hold in light of the current pandemic. We have a few other exciting ideas up our sleeves, which we hope to roll out over time and as life returns to some semblance of normal.
If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know I like to have fun and keep things real
So, it’s full disclosure time! I’ve mentioned some of these things over the years, but I figure it’s worth repeating for new readers and as a reminder that we all have our own set of challenges, whether big or small. Having a supportive community where we can ask questions and share concerns can really help.
- I rationalize my nightly dessert (usually two generous scoops of ice cream) because I eat mostly healthy during the day…
- but my cholesterol is on the high side, so even though weight is not an issue for me, this indulgence can create a little guilt.
- However, I had to give up gluten. At this point, good alternatives exist and I can replicate most anything. Still, I rationalize that I shouldn’t have to give up something else that tastes so good.
- I’ve had six eye surgeries and thank goodness for modern medicine in that regard. I try to eat lots of dark leafy greens and colorful produce believed to support eye health, very much hoping this will help.
- I have a family history of melanoma and have become diligent about daily sunscreen. (I really like this daily face cream and full body sunscreen. They feel light, don’t sting if they get in your eyes, and my doctor recommended them because they have “the right” ingredients.)
- I used to run but a myriad of injuries forced me to find another way to get my heart beating. Last year I learned that those pains stemmed from the fact that I have degenerative disc disease (that was a shock because other body parts hurt far more than my back!), so off to physical therapy I went. I’ve stuck with a regular home routine and, happily, made big strides.
- Favorite food: too many to choose but (no surprise!), ice cream is my favorite treat by far and I really adore big hearty salads with all sorts of tastes and textures.
- Best thing I ever did in my life: raise two amazing sons!
If you have questions, comments, or requests, I welcome you to comment below or email me. As I announce this new venture, the time also seemed right to remind you how much I appreciate my loyal readers and the extraordinary support you have given me over the years. It’s comforting to know that we can be with each other through life’s ups and downs－while cooking some tasty meals!